tv PBS News Hour PBS January 15, 2014 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: at the supreme court today, a dispute that pits protections for abortion clinics and their patients. against the free-speech rights of anti-abortion protesters. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. also ahead this wednesday, fact trumps fiction as fresh details emerge about how the government can infiltrate computers even when they're not connected to the internet. >> woodruff: plus, we profile a conservative economist whose response to a rising deficit was to pack up and move to the country. >> if we do not willingly, on our own terms as a nation, get our debt levels under control, eventually those chickens will come home to roost. >> woodruff: those are just
some of the stories we're covering on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> there's a saying around here: you stand behind what you say. around here, we don't make excuses, we make commitments. and when you can't live up to them, you own up and make it right. some people think the kind of accountability that thrives on so many streets in this country has gone missing in the places where it's needed most. but i know you'll still find it, when you know where to look.
>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> ifill: the supreme court heard new arguments today over the rights of anti-abortion protesters. the case involved a massachusetts law that keeps activists at least 35 feet away from clinics. the court last dealt with the issue in 2000, upholding a similar law in colorado. we'll talk to our supreme court expert marcia coyle right after the news summary. >> ifill: a budget bill to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year is halfway home. the house approved the $1.1 trillion package today. republican harold rogers of kentucky chairs the house
appropriations committee. >> a number of tea party republicans said the bill spends too much and they opposed it. nearly all democrats supported it, although jim mcgovern of massachusetts and others complained that the across-the-board cuts known as the sequester go too deep. >> while it begins to you know -- undo the sequester t does so for only two years. and we need to get rid of it foreever, permanently so with this bill we are waste deep instead of neck deep in manure, hur a, i guess. >> ifill: the senate is expected to adopt the full budget by the end of the week. in the meantime, senators today approved a short-term bill to fund the government into saturday. >> ifill: there's word today that the national security agency has tapped into as many as 100,000 computers overseas. "the new york times" reports the agency implanted hardware into the machines, gleaning
intelligence information over radio waves. we'll take a closer look at what the n.s.a. is said to be doing and where later in the program. >> ifill: a new video suggests the only u.s. soldier held captive in afghanistan may still be alive. u.s. military officials confirmed today there's a video of army sergeant bowe bergdahl that cites recent events. they said he appears frail and shaky, but the video itself has not yet been released. bergdahl disappeared from his base in afghanistan in 2009. it's believed he's being held by taliban militants. >> ifill: a senate report today concluded the state department could have prevented a deadly assault in benghazi, libya. four americans, including ambassador christopher stevens, were killed when attackers stormed a u.s. diplomatic post and nearby c.i.a. mission in benghazi, on september 11, 2012. the report found state department officials ignored security warnings of growing terrorist activity. but a state department spokeswoman said there was little new in the findings.
>> obviously we have talked at length about the fact that we knew there were extremists operating in libya, and in benghazi, but again, we had no specific threat indicating an attack was coming. we can't go back and look at the hypotheticals at what could have been prevented and what couldn't have. >> ifill: the senate intelligence committee also says analysts initially blamed the attack on anti-american protests, without real evidence. that led to republican charges of a cover-up. we'll talk to "washington post" reporter adam goldman, who's following the story, later in the program. >> ifill: a new burst of violence hit iraq today, with at least 75 people killed in bombings and shootings. half a dozen bombs went off in baghdad, leaving streets around the capital blood-stained and strewn with wreckage. the violence extended to kirkuk and mosul as well. a donors conference has generated at least $2.4 billion in humanitarian aid pledges for syrians caught in a civil war. secretary of state john kerry
joined other top diplomats at the gathering in kuwait today. kerry said the u.s. is giving another $380 million dollars in assistance. >> ifill: voters across egypt went to the polls once again today to cast ballots on a new constitution. it's expected to win easily. turnout appeared lower in some places on this second and final day of voting. sporadic violence on tuesday killed at least nine people. islamist followers of ousted president mohammed morsi boycotted the election. in economic news... "apple" agreed to refund at least $32.5 million dollars for un-authorized purchases children make on mobile apps. the federal trade commission said it's had thousands of complaints from parents. and on wall street... the dow jones industrial average gained 108 points to close just short of
16,482. the nasdaq rose almost 32 points to close near 4215. >> ifill: still to come on the "newshour" should there be buffer zones around abortion clinics? a senate panel says the 2012 benghazi attack was benghazi attack was preventable. >> wooduff: free-speech and abortion rights clashed today at the supreme court. newshour correspondent kwame holman starts with some background. >> wooduff: the case grew out of complaints by anti-abortion demonstrators at this planned parenthood clinic in downtown boston. >> if you look at that yellow line, it actually puts us out on the street, so we're apt to get hit by a car or a bus or whatever. >> wooduff: that painted yellow line marks a 35-foot buffer zone required by massachusetts law
since 2007, at sites where abortions are performed. crossing it could mean two and a half years in prison for a protester, although no one has been prosecuted under the law. 76-year-old eleanor mccullen leads the fight to overturn the law, and attended today's arguments. she says the restriction stifles the free speech rights of abortion opponents trying to dissuade women from going inside. >> they wanna stop but they wanna go in too. they have an appointment. they're mixed up, and if i just had another like two or three minutes, that's all i need, but when i'm cut off it's very frustrating. >> wooduff: the massachusetts attorney general martha coakley answers that the law lets protesters have their say, while protecting clinic clients and staff from harassment. >> this particular statute has struck the appropriate and constitutional balance between access, which is also constitutionally guaranteed for people, public safety, which is a huge issue to make sure that no one is hurt or disrupted in
their activities, and that of those protestors, those who want to be heard. they do have a right to speak we know it is not unlimited. >> wooduff: the supreme court last ruled on the issue in 2000, when it upheld a different sized buffer zone in colorado. in addition to colorado and massachusetts, montana also has an abortion clinic buffer zone law. and a handful of cities have imposed restrictions, with varying stand-off distances spelled out. many of the laws were enacted after a spate of violence at women's health facilities during the 1990's. shooting attacks at two clinics in brookline, massachusetts in 1994 killed two people and wounded five. >> wooduff: as always, marcia coyle of the national law journal was in the courtroom this morning and is back with us tonight. hi, judy, good to you have back with us. >> woodruff: tell us a little bit more about what this case is about, what each side is arguing. >> okay, well really it's
two arguments in a sense. the challenges to the massachusetts law claimed that the law it self-is what we call content based. it discriminates on the basis of viewpoint, that its effect of the buffer zone is really to curb the speech of people without do not support abortions. it also, they also argue that it's not a narrowly tailored law which is really one of the requirements under the first amendment if government wants to recognize late speech. that the buffer zone is around only abortion facilities, and not even all-- not even-- it's around facilities that some don't even have problems with demonstrators or protestors. and finally they aring that the government has other tools available to deal with the problem that it says and argues is why it has the law that it has. it can get injunctions from courts. it can have police move
people. on the other side the state is saying look, this is not viewpoint discrimination what we are regulating here is conduct. the problem is congestion, too many people on the sidewalk, too many people trying to approach women and relatives in cars as they drive not parking lot. they say it's narrowly tailored because the challengers do have the ability to speak to women coming into the clinic really what they are objecting to, they say, is basically 7 to 10 seconds that the woman walk from the yellow line to the entrance of the clinic and those other alternatives, massachusetts says it has found they do not work. which is why they amended their law in 2007 with this particular buffer zone. >> woodruff: 7 to 10 seconds. so what are the constitutional questions that the justices are looking at? and what were they saying today. >> well, the justices first probed the lawyer for the
challengers. and they were questioning basically how far does he go here which with his arguments over a buffer zone. all all buffer zones problematic under the first amendment? there are buffer zones, they said for example, around funeral services, military funeral services. buffer zones around certain public forums that are going to have political events or even entertainment events. and he said that actually he does think that there are first amendment problems with buffer zones, but he said the government has to make a very strong record as to why they need it. and that record he claims was not made by massachusetts for this particular buffer zone. >> and did massachusetts, did the attorney for the state of massachusetts come back on that point. >> yes, and she was probed by the justices as well. they wanted to know, for example, why 35 feet? in fact justice kagan said
at one point in the argument she was a little hung up on how large that is. and the massachusetts attorney said look, the legislature looked at other buffer zones that had been upheld by courts, 50 feet, 36 feet, 15 neat. and then decided that 35 is what was going to work here. and she also pushed back on whether too much speech is curbed. for example, in the record and massachusetts attorney feels they made-- the legislature made a very thorough record of the problems here, miss mccullen without brought the challenge has said that she was able to speak with and deter roughly 80 women from the time the law went into effect 2007 until today. and that's not curbing speech. >> woodruff: and i gather they even got into, the justices did, talking about what exactly is the distance. >> it was a little surprising that some of them don't seem to really know what 35 feet is.
mr. rienzi at some point said it could extend from the court's bench to the back of the courtroom and the courtroom is much longer than that buffer zone. the deputy solicitor general for the obama administration supporting the state of massachusetts described it as an nba 3 point zone. >> woodruff: and we left it at that. it was left at that. >> it was. i think there is a dispute about how big 35 feet is, as well as really how much speech it actually curbs, that is the guts of the case. >> all right, marcia coyle, thank you. >> wooduff: today's arguments were closely watched by advocates on both sides of the abortion debate. and we turn to two of them now. ilyse hogue is president of naral pro-choice america and steven aden is vice president of human life issues for the alliance defending freedom, which funded this case on behalf of the abortion protester. we thank you both for being
here too. ilyce hogue, to you first, why is this case important? >> well, it's incredibly important because we have tracked the movement that actually relies on harassment and intimidation and even violence, your footage showed the most extreme example. there was a doctor shot outside trying to enter his clin anything florida in the 199 -- 1990s. i think what is important is recognizing that we do balance free speech with public safety all the time and in fact mrs. mccullen who seems to be perfectly lovely-- . >> woodruff: the woman bringing the case. >> made her own point when she said the women do stop and talk with her. what she wants is more time. and so there is nothing that prevents any woman who wants to spend more time with the prowess it-- protestors educating themselves from straying there. what there is is a public safety need to enforce civil access to the reproductive health centres. >> woodruff: steve aden from your perspective, why does
this case matter what is important about it. >> it is a very important case, and the pro movement of which my application is a part completely renounces that violence, but that was a long time ago. what we have here is a grandmother who wants to gently and peaceably talk to women who want their options which they won't here in the planned parenthood clin anything boston, ordinarily. but what the commonwealth of massachusetts has done is drawn a literal line in the sidewalk, a line of exclusion around that speech and said this far and no further. the sidewalk, the public parks, from the beginning of this country have been the place where there is the most protection for free speech. and this law actually is the first law of its kind that the supreme court has encountered where all speech has been banned on a public sidewalk. and that's very dangerous for a state to have the power to ban the kind of speech that it opposes just because it opposes it is very dangerous it could do
that to any speech. >> it is the case that not every state, in fact there are many states that don't have this. >> only three. >> so why isn't if, why is this one so special? >> well, i think we're debating this one because it is up before the supreme court. we've been hearing all week from women who tried to access clinics, clinic staff, clinic escort was say they're not in protected zones. they get spit on. they get shoved off sidewalks, they get people touching them, obstructing them, saying horrible things in their face so it is a problem nationally. and the concern is that if the court shows tolerance for this kind of harassment and intimidation, even though we've seen. >> and shrinks the barrier. >> or does away with it. >> right, right. >> and even though we've seen that people entering the clinic can hear the protestors, can stop and talk with them, can see them very clearly, that sends a very terrifying message.
there was a reason this buffer zone was put in place it was because law enforcement was managing a lot of disruption. >> i know you said steve aden what happened, the violence that happened was a long time ago, but it did happen. and these, the barrier was set up in response to that. >> well, let's be realistic. a yellow line on a sidewalk is to the going to stop a determined violent individual, that's absurd. what they're trying to stop is the speech. which they hate. because it cuts into planned parenthood's profits. the things that she's describing go on more often from the other side of the fence. in fact, when the assistant attorney from massachusetts and the u.s. assistant solicitor from the united states were asked to cite examples of disruption in front of abortion clinics the only disruption they talked about was from pro-choice protestors who were doing those kinds of things, that's very telling. >> i have to jump in, the violence is not in the past. there were four cases of clinics being burned in
2012. what we need to appreciate is there is an intentional effort to make these grandmothers the face of the movement, that has a deep history of harassment an intimidation, of women who are also doing nothing but exercising our constitutional rights to safe health care. >> judy, let me explain. >> woodruff: go ahead and then i want to come back. >> elyse and their owners often caused the pro-life movement of not care approximating about women. today there are four times more caring pregnancy resource centers in america as there are abortion clinics. based on that, you tell me, who cares pore about women. and that's where the movement is going. >> woodruff: i will let you respond to that but i do want to come back to the supreme court. >> now, this is a concerted effort of the anti-choice movement to defund and do away with clinics because their ultimate goal is to outlaw abortion. and the clinics, the centers that steve is talking about actually has a documented record of lying to women and shaming them about their
options. >> i don't think we're going to -- >>. >> steve, let me come back to you is there any any buffer at any distance, closer than this 35 feet that would be acceptable? >> no on a public sidewalk t is unnecessary and absurd. in the case of this law, the lawyers for massachusetts admitted in the court of appeals that it would stop somebody from wearing a cleveland indian's baseball cap and walking through the speech exclusion zone, that would be a crime because it would be quote, unquote in a no speech zone, who needs a law like that that is ridiculous. >> woodruff: same question turned around to you, elyse hogue, would it be acceptable to have a buffer that wasn't 35 feet, that was a different distance. >> the colorado buffer is 8 feet but that's left to law enforcement to determine what they need to assure public safety and that is what has been done in massachusetts. that is what the first
district court upheld and that is what we think is best. >> let me ask you both. if the court goes along with this case and rules to do away with the buffer, what does that mean for the cause of pro-choice? >> well, i mean i think that what we know is that women will make up their own minds and do everything they can to access the health care that they need. but it will send a chilling signal of tolerance to the kind of harassment and intimidation that is really not acceptable for women in this country. >> woodruff: and conversely, steve aden f the court goes in the other direction and says the buffer stands what does that mean for your-- for the antiabortion movement? >> that would be very regrettable because that would be a nail in the coffin of the first amendment. from time immemorial the public streets, the sidewalks, the parks have been held open for what the supreme court has called open, robust and uninhibitied debate on important public issues like abortion. yet now the state can carve
out a zone of exclusion for speech that it disfavours it can do this not only to pro-lifers but to any movement. it can do that to the labor movement of which elyse is so fond. it can do it to any, the law that benefits planned parenthood in boston could harm planned parenthood in tennessee or any other state, i don't know how comfortable you are with that. >> we do do that already all the time. as marcia mentioned there are buffers around military funerals, even at republican, democratic national convention there were protests. >> very different circumstances. >> woodruff: we're going to have too leave it there. steve aden, elyse hogue, thank you. >> thank you. >> a pleasure. >> ifill: more than a year ago, a u.s. ambassador and three other americans were killed in an uprising in benghazi, libya. the questions about the
incident, why it happened, how it happened, whether it could have been avoided, have never completely gone away. today, after dozens of hearings and interviews, the senate intelligence committee issued its own bipartisan conclusions. adam goldman of the washington post joins us now. so how did the senate intelligence we committee different from what we heard about. we heard so much about this benghazi episode, was there anything different they discovered today? >> no, i think they came to the same conclusion as other reports that what happened in benghazi was preventable. i think what was knew about-- new about the report was the detail they went into. and that in itself was extraordinary. the whole report was released. and we really got a blow-by-blow of what happened. and there weren't very many redactions in this report. >> ifill: in what way did they say it was preventable? >> that it was clear, the report lays out in very clear terms that there was more than enough evidence to suggest that the security environment in benghazi was
deteriorating quickly. in fact, there were 20 security incidents in benghazi in august before, and the state department had received repeated warnings that the situation was getting worse. and the cia on the ground which was operating out of an annex about a mile away from the diplomatic compound also had major concerns and had done a briefing about terrorism activity in the area. >> ifill: and that annex you mentioned, the military knew nothing about the cia annex where this all happened? >> one of the things that the report highlighted was a lack of communication. africom which is in charge of africa did not know the cia was operating out of that annex. >> ifill: were they able to sufficiently protect them even after the event began. >> no, the report shows there weren't available resources in the region to respond in case of an emergency. and what the report lays out is a contingent, military contingent from tripoli
actually responded to what happened. but they don't arrive in benghazi in the airport until about 1:00. they don't get to the annex itself which was already under fire until hours later. >> ifill: and they're not notified of this attack by the state department. so the state department has dropped the ball here. >> well, the state department does notify the cia. at about 9:45 40 p.m. on september 11th. the annex, people from the annex leave there, about 30 minutes later. and when they get there they are immediately engaged in a fire fight. >> ifill: there are some amazing details about how that fire fight unfolded including people going to the roof, breaking open a skylight, trying to let air in in order to rescue the ambassador who by then was trapped. >> it was laid out in harrowing detail in some parts of the report. one diplomatic charity agent trying to take the ambassador with them and rescue them and go through a window. you know, almost losing consciousness. the report points out that the attacker used diesel fuel to wipe light the
compound on fire and there was thick smoke t was really, you know, it was really a tough situation. >> ifill: the heart of the political argue here as always been about who knew what when. and what the cause was of that, of the uprising in the first place. was there any new light shed on that? >> no, one of the things the report says was september 18th, 7 days after that, the attack the fbi and cia was able to review security footage and come to the determination there were no protests. they wanted to, and i see the intelligence community wasn't able to correct the record until six days later but by that time the narrative had already been set. >> part of the narrative, at least a couple weeks we heard reports that in fact this was not the video, the video that sparked the protest, that it was-- there was not an al qaeda link. i feel like every time we hear a report about this it says the opposite of what the last report says. >> this what we know i think. right now there wasn't any evidence that core al quit
quite zawahiri from pakistan orchestrated this attack. what we do know is that terrorist organizations did participate in it. so you know, is it al quite -- al qaeda or terrorism, doesn't really matter. >> we don't know what the link might be, the tight sell not the issue. >> right. and the fbi -- >> but it wasn't a spontaneous attack. >> they describe it as opportunistic. and there were element on the ground in benghazi that took advantage of this moment and it's not clear if the militias themselves were actually coordinating. >> ifill: very interesting detail that i had never seen before which is that in the process of this fbi investigation 15 witnesses have since been killed? >> not witnesses, people who might have -- >> cooperated. >> cooperated or supported the investigation, supported the u.s. and that in itself is chilling. and while the report doesn't say libya was hampering the investigation, i can tell you through my own reporting that libya has been
hampering the investigation within in particular the fbi which is very, very frustrated, it's been very difficult to interview witnesses on the ground in libya. ooirz which is maybe why it took so long for this report to come out. >> no. i think the minority view, the republicans on the committee say in the report it took so long to company out because the white house obstructed it and the state department didn't provide the information they wanted ooirz adam goldman of "the washington post," thank you. >> thank you. >> wooduff: now, the fallout over a big decision that may change how the web works and the future of so-called net neutrality. hari sreenivasan is our guide, beginning with some background. >> sreenivasan: net neutrality is the idea that broadband internet service providers: comcast, time warner cable, verizon and others should treat everything that flows across the internet equally. that means preventing service
providers from creating fast lanes for sites they have business ties with, such as streaming video services like hulu or netflix. and slowing access to others, like amazon. it also means not charging more for youtube and other sites, based on their heavier bandwidth use, or in exchange for faster speeds. all of which, could affect what consumers see online how fast, and at what price. the principles were set out by the federal communications commission nearly a decade ago. the agency enshrined them in its open internet order, adopted in 2010. but verizon sued to challenge the agency's authority, and yesterday the u.s. district court of appeals for the district of columbia found that the f.c.c. acted improperly. the 81-page ruling said the agency is wrong to classify internet service providers as information services and at the same time regulate them as common carriers, as it does
telephone and utility companies. while the f.c.c. decides whether to appeal, amazon and others are watching to see if the broadband networks impose their own rules, favoring some content companies over others. for its part, verizon issued a statement yesterday that said, in part: verizon has been and remains committed to the open internet. this will not change in light of the court's decision. the ruling does not apply to wireless services accessed through mobile devices, a growing share of the market. >> sreenivasan: we have two views on this. from washington i'm joined by craig aaron, president and c.e.o. of free press, a non- partisan media reform group. and robert mcdowell, a senior fellow at the hudson institute. he served as a commissioner on the federal communications commission from 2006 to 2013. craig aaron i want to start with you. you've callinged this a dangerous development for the free internet as we know it, why? >> well, i really think this court decision puts at risk so much of what we love about the internet with. these rules being invalidated,
it really leaves consumers at the mercy of phone and cable companies who are now free to block web sites if they want to, interfere with traffic, favor certain sites and services over other sites and services and i think that's bad news for the average internet use their the agency that is supposed to be protecting them has been told it has no oversight of the most important communications network of the 2 1s century. >> robert mcdowell, you were against these rules even when it was proposed back when you were on the commission, you think it is a good thing. >> thank you for having me on. apologies to judy for not having my do duke university tie on tonight. i did vote against these, consumers have ample protection if there is anti-competitive conduct. basically the internet before december 21st, 2010 which is the vote on this order was blossoming beautifully, before that. it will blossom beautifully after this but the anti-trust laws, consumer protection laws, the federal trade commission has a lot of authority. the federal communications
commission still has a lot of authority. even under this case and merger reviews and other things. states attorneys general, the plaintiffs bar if anything is going to happen there will be massive class-action suits so consumers have a lot of arrows in their quiver to protect them. >> robert mcdowell staying with you for a second. there seems to be an issue in this case on whether the internet is a luxury or whether it's a you-- utility like so many other countries in the world perceive it and even parts of america do. so if it's a utility should it not be regulated like one. >> it's neither a luxury nor a utility. i think our communication laws need to be updated to reflect this new age. we're still built on a foundation, our laws are still built on a foundation that goes back to 1934, and really the 19th century of regulating monopolies and the market is much more dynamic and different the way it works technologically. so i think we need to have a fundamental, constructive conversation with free press, myself, anyone who is interested about how the new laws should look so consumers are protected and
that we also can foster innovation and investment. >> craig aaron what about that idea of innovation and in this particular case, does this actually increase or decrease innovation. >> well, i think it's potentially very harmful to innovation. because the beauty of net neutrality is if they created that even playing field where anybody out there with a good idea w a new product or service had just as good a chance as anybody else to find an audience on the internet. you get rid of net neutrality and all of a sudden all those innovaters need the permission of a verizon or at&t or time warner cable to have the product reach an audience. so i really worry that the next google being built out in the garage somewhere today isn't going to get the same chance to build a business, to thrive on-line that the dominant players have. and that this decision will actually lock in the power of those dominant players over consumers. >> robert mcdowell, what about this idea that the cable company or the person that brings me that internet,
the last mile, they've essentially been thought of it almosts infrastructure folks, the piping guys, this seems to give them a tremendous amount of gatekeeper possibility and power. >> actually, if a last provider were to do what craig outlines there were a number of government hammers that come down on them that would be sort of de facto kind of showing of market power and abuse of that power that results in consumer harm there are a number of laws that would come down to prevent that from happening. you are absolutely right to point out that actually technology is evolving. and things are converging. the content has application and content is also merging and converging with the so-called core of the internet with there are now intelligent networks. we have unlicensed spectrum. we have the wireless broadband market, the fastest growing segment that we didn't have ten years ago when net neutrality started becoming a debate so consumers had some choices
at their fingertips to help keep the marketplace wonderfulfully chaotic in a positive and constructionive way that acts as a counterbalance to possible incentives for anti-competitive conduct but if there were conduct there are a lot of laws that could be used to help correct that situation. >> craig what about the idea that the market will take care of it if there is bad behavior. >> i think the problem is that we don't have enough competition. most americans have at best two choices for high-speed internet service at home. many of them are saddled with just a single choice. when all these companies are saying they're going to block or discriminate or are free to block or discriminate, there is really nowhere else for consume ares to turn. so i think we need a federal communications commission serving as a watchdog, being on the beat, having the authority to step in if necessary, if there aren't any problems they won't need to step in but the idea that we should strip away all these protections and be told by these companies that we should just trust them, i don't think they've yet
earned that trust. >> can i interject quickly. not all of the protections have been stripped away. first of all the court left in place a new body-of-law under something called section 706 which is untested. the commission has an avenue there the commission also has a big avenue every time one of these internet service providers has a transaction before the commission if they want to buy new spectrum, merge with another company, there are merger conditions put in place like comcast is living under for the next four years and that can help be a deterrent. those are enforceable. a lot of tools we don't have time to enumerate but there are a lot of protections still in place for consumers, i don't want people to panic. >> i think the most important tool is what the fcc should be doing which is reassort-- asserting its authority under the communication act, the dirty secret of this decision is it didn't come out against net neutrality. it didn't say that was a bad idea or policy t said the fcc is doing it wrong. the reason they lack that authority is because they gave it up themselves during the bush administration. they abdicated their own
authority. and they now have an opportunity to set that right. we urged commissioner mcdowell and chairman jenn jennacowski during his term to do just that. they failed to do it. and now we have this legal mess to clean up. the best way would be to restore that authority and i hope that is what the fcc will do. >> what should the fcc do. >> i think the fcc should really do an inventory, work with other agencies to do an inventory of all applicable laws that could be used to protect consumers but also restate its commitment to what we call the multistakeholder nongovernmental model of internet governance. part of the problem what is going on here as we bless more state intervention into the affairs this is getting fueled to regimes across the globe to do the same thing, maybe on an international blefl. but-- so it's got a lot of collateral damage. >> robert mcdowell, craig aaron, thanks for your time. >> thank you. >> thank you.
>> ifill: since at least 2008, the national security agency has been using secret technology to hack into and take control of computers not connected to the internet. these revelations come from the trove of documents leaked by former n.s.a contractor edward snowden. late today the n.s.a said in a statement, joining me now to discuss that is david sanger of the new york times. and cedric leighton, a former air force intelligence officer who served as deputy training director for the n.s.a in 2009 and 2010. welcome to you both, gentlemen. david, tell us about this technology that the nsa was pushing back against the -- >> sure, gwen, the technology solves a big problem that the nsa has long had. most of its hacks into
computers, most of its cyberactivity is through those big optical telephone cables that run across the atlantic and pacific or through regional networks. but what do you do with a compute their separated from all networks, that an intelligence agency or some other agency, a government or a company might separate out to keep all the data secret? and that's a problem that the nsa has had for years. and they had it in particular with the iranian computers that were running the nuclear enrichment program. and so this technology puts a small radio transmitter into say a thumb drive or sometimes even into a circuit board in the compute their can broadcast back to a facility called a night stand. it's basically the size of a briefcase that would pick up the data and also allow the nsa to insert malware as they did in the iranian case. >> physically insert,
presumably in the production process or at some point like that. >> in the production process or maybe in the shipping process or you know, a scientist is at a trade show or a scientific conference and gets a thumb drive or there is a maintenance person who comes in. and in the course of my reporting olympic games the program against duwon it was clear that some device like this had been used back and forth. we withheld a few of the details at that time at the government's request but then the papers came out and des spiegel published some of the details of this several weeks ago. >> des spiegel published an actual catalog of these kinds of devices, tell me colonel, how is this used, just simple surveillance for the sake of snowing. >> for the most part it is, but it can also be used in, as a means, as a precursor really to an attack. so for example, if the united states decides to go into what is known as computer network attack, then they could use the information that is gleaned
through technologies like this to serve as the pathway in order to conduct an attack of that type. so that's what they're doing. they're looking at, they're recoin outering the network, doing a reconaissance and if they need to attack for whatever policy reason they can do so based on
the information they gain from techniques like this. >> are techniques like this only limited to potential warfare or are they limited to keeping an eye on tof engovernment ens or is it also app a cable dom ically. >> technically it would be, but policywise from a legal standpoint it is not used domestically. these techniques are only used for foreign intelligence purposes. now at least by the nsa. now when it comes to the targets itself, that is based on intelligence priorities and those intelligence priorities are decided not only by the director of national intel against but also in the white house by the president. >> now the intelligence priorities we're talking about this case, china,
russia. >> so anything that would deal with terrorism would be an early example and we published a-- we've seen a map and i think you'll see it up on the internet as well that shows where a number of these computer networks exploitation sites are. many are in the middle east as with you would expect. but china is a big target and particularly the chinese pla units that are responsible or believed to be responsible for cyberattacks on the u.s. this would enable the u.s. to sit on those networks, see an attack massing and then maybe make a decision about whether they wanted to take a preemptive strike against them. we don't have any evidence they've ever done that. the only case where we've really had solid evidence of a major u.s. attack using these kind of techniques is iran. >> 100,000 computers is the latest round number. >> round number. >> do we have reason to believe given that the information we have is some years old that it's much more than that by now. >> i think we're going to
extrapolate and say that it probably is more than that. i'm not sure what the orld of magnitude would be but it's a natural technical progression that the numbers that you are going after in a case like this would increase just because the proliferation of technology is such and the potential adversarieses are much more adept at using technologies, so it's just natural that we would be interested in finding out what they're doing, how they are doing it and to what devices they're using. >> how different is this than the kind of action behavior surveillance that we accuse other governments of doing to us? and we says that's a bad, bad thing. how is it different than the way we are doing it. >> it is a fascinating question, gwen. and this winter one of the nas-- nsa's statements to us as we were preparing the story, they wouldn't talk about the technology itself but they did say that they thought this was quite different from the kind of activities that a country like china participates in. they have said that china comes in and steals intellectual property from american companies.
certainly all the evidence seems to suggest that's the case. the u.s. says if it conducts this kind of activity, it's only in its national security interests. now the problem with this argument is that if you ask the chain ease the search for economic secrets for manufacturing secrets, for any of the things we are a's looking for from say boeing or lockheed or an american electronics company is in their mind part of their national security. and it's one of the reasons that this-- definition -- >> so this, president obama says no, we don't engage in this kind of thing. and the chinese say well, you're engaging in something that has similar techniques. >> in your experience, how do you balance this out, the dangerous, potential and the lines we walk up to diplomatically versus the usefulness of a tool like this. >> that is really the $64now question when it comes to this, from the military standpoint, we have to keep in mind that nsa is technically a combat support agency in the department of
defence. so that means that their primary mission should always be to support military forces. and so from an intelligence and military support perspective, it becomes very important to prosecute war efforts, especially in this day and age when cyberwar is to the just a theory t is actually a reality out there. and because cyberwar is a reality, you have to have the techniques and procedures that allow you to engage in at least defensive aspects of cyberwarfare but also need to be able to switch to offense in order to have a credible deterrent. and that is something that the united states what to-- has to res el with very carefully because we're not only-- new ground but we're also going into a situation where the legal con trants have not kept pace with the knowledge as it exists today. >> definitely peeling back the skin on an onion. colonel cedric leighton, thank you both very much. >> thank you
>> wooduff: this is the week that congress appears to be ready to pass a new budget. while there's been relief by many that there's finally some agreement, the size of the country's debt and deficit remains a major concern. we close tonight with a profile of one economist and how his fears around those issues inspired him to change his life. newshour economics correspondent paul solman has the story. it's part of his ongoing series, making sense of financial news. welcome to this-- within meet chris marten author, speaker and consultant for organizations ranging from the u.n., to corporation, investment funds and foundations. with his video crash course on the economy, pulling more than 3 million views on youtube, he's become a popular symbol of deep
economic discontent. >> if you want to know where the global economy is head. >> in 2003 martenson a ph.d neuroscientist with an mba was a high level big pharma executive with all the perks. big salary, big boat, big house in connecticut. but increasingly he worried about the cost of big government, paid for by america's annual deficits hiking our cum latif national debt. >> we were growing our debts at somewhere between 8 and 9% a year, the underlying economy is about half that. if the whole nation does that, how does the nation not get in trouble. >> of course this is the republican refrain of the moment, insisting it's why the debt ceiling shouldn't be automatically raised. but a decade ago martenson was already taking action. selling everything, easing out of his job, moving his family to rural massachusetts. we are and his wife becca would homeschool their children. all based on chris's own
dire economic forecast. >> i'm absolutely mathematically certain about this, that if we do not willingly on our own terms as a nation get our debt levels under control, eventually those chickens will come home to roost. >> in the decade that chris and becca have been tending their flock, though, debt bedefinitelied america has paid an effective interest rate of less than 0, if you subtract inflation and the usual cost of borrowing money. so after all these years, those worried about the risk of a debt collapse are sounding like, well, chicken little. >> didn't you think that was already going to have happened? >> i think it has happened. i think it's happened in detroit. i think it's happened in stockton. when you look at the number of houses on food stamps. when you look at the mean duration of unemployment hovering between 30 and 40 weeks which is hiding all of the people at 99 weeks that got popped off the roles. did i think it might happen faster, yes, absolutely. take me from ten years ago drop me in the chair and
tell me what the federal reserve did in the last two years may hair would catch on fire and i would run out the door, right? >> martenson means the fed's creation of more than 2 trillion dollars b you go it hasn't just been the growth of government debt and dollars that spooked chris martenson. what differentiates him from the chorus of complaint we've been hearing lately is his rejection of economic growth itself. >> we have an economies that's based on growthment we want joss jobs to grow, we would like to see more auto sales, more houses sold. and it's always on a percentage basis so even if our economy is growing just 3% a year we will be doubling it every 24 hour years sork how many more times can the world be twice as big. >> and when growth stops? anticipating the financial turmoil that might follow, martenson paid off all his debts, bought gold, and built a business web site, book, speaking engagements, soujing an alarm that rejects most of how america has been going about its
business. >> what is wealth? i say wealth sometimes people think money but money is not wealth it is a way to store wealth. primary sources of wealth harx that would be rich soil, a thick stand of trees, rich fishing waters, that is primary wealth. >> and yes, the preacher puts his secular sermons into practice with a vegetable garden and or chaferpd -- orchard for food, chris has lost some 30 pounds in the process. solar panels for comfort. >> these are the kinds of investments that make a lot of sense because they're tangible, i understand them. it's different than sending my money off to wall street and crossing my fingers and hoping for the best. >> the hardest thing about the transition was explaining to people and my family and my community what we were doing. because they really thought we were crazy. >> at first his wife thought chris was crazy too but becca martenson began to study. >> what did you read that most impressed you or have the biggest impact on you. >> the book called the createure from jeckel island which describes our money system and how money is created. that was just such an eye
opener for me. >> so you hadn't realized that money was just created out of thin air. >> nope, that is not something that is commonly known, really, in our culture. it's certainly not taught. it's not talked about. and it's true. >> it is true. but to many a conventional economist, kind of trivial. but of course the skeptics, if it is the createure of jeckel island and yes, money creation without anything to restrain it can run riout. germany in the 19 --. zimbabwe more recently. and so even though u.s. inflation has remained but a blood pressure for decades, it's easy to picture the worst. >> there are going to print a ton of money. >> which may explain why this viral video mocking the fed's policies has become perhaps the most popular economic explainer ever. >> why do they call it the quantitative easing.
why don't they just call it printing money. >> because the printing money is the last refinal of failed economic empires and banana republics and the fed doesn't want to admit this is their only idea. >> the mass appeal of such skepticism might help explain right wing budget intransigence today but chris and becca martenson are not simply austerity or fedaphobes, when it comes to what we should done, they sound like the small is beautiful crowd that flourished on the left in the 1970s. >> that was heavy. >> so the evangelist of hard money and small government also proselytizes for renewable energy. >> and if we deployed it, we would be burning less fossil fuels by a lot. we would be putting less carbon not atmosphere. all of it could be domestically manufactured. when you tacked to conservative audiences o and you start talking about national investment in alternative energy, don't
they at the very least look at you funny if not start hissing. >> absolutely. absolutely. but this is not a left right issue. i don't take left right positions. if it saves money t creates job, it enhances national security, it's good for the environment who could be against that. >> people who think that government should not be so involved in making decisions for us. >> but if the choice was listen, we were going to print up 2.4 trillion, i was going give it to the banks or do something else with it, i think this would be something else. we will muddle through but one thing we will not muddle through is an exponential economy that needs more, more, more all the time. >> suppose you are wrong about the debt. what evidence would you then offer to suggest that we're not on the right track. >> if i had to give just one word summary, it's unsustainable. >> in my own life i cut my standard of living in half, doubled my quality of life, i'm not saying everybody should do that or i'm admirable because of it, but i learned we can do things far more he fish ly and effectively and have better
outcomes and why wouldn't we do that? >> in the end chris martenson may be just another economic doomsayer with an enthusiastic yen line following. but his popularity and his voicing of the disaffections of americans right and left alike suggest he may instead be a wishful throwback to the american tradition of simple self-reliance in the face of an ever more complex, impersonal global economy. an economy that could turn out to be unsustainable >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day: the supreme court heard new arguments over the rights of anti-abortion protesters and how close they can come to clinics where abortions are performed; and a senate report concluded the state department ignored warnings that might have prevented a deadly assault that killed four americans in
benghazi, libya. >> ifill: on the "newshour" >> woodruff: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. on thursday, we'll look at how international sanctions affect daily life in iran. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us here at the "pbs newshour," thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us.
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